New 301 bus timetable revealed – enough to tempt people to Crossrail?

A new bus route numbered 301 will launch this weekend running from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood then onto Thamesmead and Woolwich. I covered it extensively a couple of days ago.

Since then the timetable has been revealed. Is the new route quick enough to tempt people to travel on a bus to Abbey Wood then take Crossrail when it finally starts?

Abbey Wood station

Well, from Bexleyheath town centre to Abbey Wood it will take 21 minutes in the morning peak. On a train, 21 minutes after leaving Bexleyheath station a commuter on some services is already almost at London Bridge.

Bear in mind travelling for 21 minutes to Abbey Wood then requires getting off a bus, walking into the station then down onto a Crossrail train and is it worth it – especially with that change?

Abbey Wood

When it comes to reaching the City, a train to Liverpool Street is another 15+ minutes from Abbey Wood. That makes for 40 minutes in total on bus then Crossrail versus exactly the same time with no change on a Southeastern service to Cannon Street.

Of course Crossrail will serve many more destinations and enable people to take jobs in more locations (and have better frequencies) but for existing commuters working around London Bridge, Canary Wharf, the City (Cannon Street) or West End will it see mass changes?

Fenced off awaiting delayed start

Say you work at Canary Wharf, currently you could take a train for 20 minutes from Bexleyheath to Lewisham (at least eight trains an hour) then change onto DLR (every few minutes) for 15 minutes. Or take a bus for 21 minutes then change for Crossrail and 10 minutes to Canary Wharf. There’s basically very little in it. It comes down to where you set off and where you work and many established patterns are set.

This isn’t to put a downer on Crossrail which will be a fantastic improvement and open up work in places all over London, but the grand plans of some transport planners that many commuters will switch seems a tad optimistic – for those on the Bexleyheath and Sidcup lines anyway.

Tower plans beside Lewisham station

Which could be a problem given mass housing plans near stations on those lines and the hope many passengers will shift to Crossrail.

Approved early 2019

See revised plans for 1,300 homes in Kidbrooke covered today (taking total numbers to 5,300) and 618 more set to be approved next week in a separate scheme, along with a 35-storey tower due to be approved beside Lewisham station next week.




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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

13 thoughts on “New 301 bus timetable revealed – enough to tempt people to Crossrail?

  • You’ve picked destinations which are presently quite easy to reach from Bexleyheath. For passengers travelling to Tottenham Court Road and beyond, the 21 minute journey to Abbey Wood is worthwhile. Especially given the high frequency of Crossrail. Also changing at Abbey Wood for a guaranteed seat into Canary wharf, Farringdon and Liverpool Street is a far more pleasant prospect than changing at London Bridge or Lewisham – especially in the rush hour. It’s worth remembering that TfL initially planned to run the 301 via Knee Hill, which would have meant even faster journeys between Bexleyheath and Abbey Wood Station, so the intended benefits of the route will not be fully realised. Still, it’s a few minutes faster and more frequent than a B11!

    • For sure and for some it’ll be worth taking the bus. I’m curious really as to just how many given transport planners expect mass changes, especially in first few years.

  • Like with any new bus route and train or underground service it takes time to become established. With may new homes being built over the next couple of years I am sure both new bus route 301 and crossrail will be well used by passengers in the future.

  • All comparison seem to be assuming we all live right next to Bexleyheath train station. A small footnote about where you set out from does not rescue that the article is very biased and flawed.

    • ‘train’ station? I assume you mean a gym ? it’s a railway station

  • The bigger impact will be people in Edith/upper Belvedere/upper abbey wood who currently have to use the 99 bus crawling along to Plumstead of Woolwich which is a nightmare. I think they finally introduce the proposed bus route that runs along Woolwich road and then down to Abbey wood there will be a big switch of people going to abbey wood for Crossrail instead of Plumstead/Woolwich. Any idea when more of the new routes will start to be introduced?

  • Interesting to note that this route completely bypasses Woolwich Town Centre as noted on the timetable the last stop is Beresford Street and the first being Plumstead Road. One imagines that if it stands by the former Woolwich Poly then it’ll just swing around the roundabout at the junction of Warren Lane.
    Also of interest when comparing how the “feeder” routes to North Greenwich are scheduled – I’m going by first and last journeys here, is that the focus is towards the main adjective (the tube station) for the first trains and away from there just after the last trains. It’s too early to judge at the moment as Crossrail is yet to reveal a timetable, let alone a launch date but going by this the priority seems to be feeding Abbey Wood Crossrail from Thamesmead. After all just look at the last bus from Abbey Wood towards Bexleyheath (00:13). one is hoping that this is just an interim measure and will be corrected once those shiny new trains are up and running. However whilst I welcome any improvements to the local transport links, this as it stands it just a complete waste as it pretty much duplicates routes already in there. Maybe the resources would’ve been better used as perhaps a link from Kidbrooke to North Greenwich via the A2, or not cutting back the 53 short of Trafalgar Square, at least until Crossrail actually starts.

    • Why can’t we have the 301 AND a new route linking Kidbrooke to North Greenwich? TfL have already consulted and route 335 should happen this year:

      Ironically some of the buses on the 301 are also blinded for the new Kidbrooke route.

  • Well done TfL for failing to include this new service, even on today’s launch day

  • I will use the 301 to go to Bexleyheath instead of driving. Also will use to go to work in Woolwich instead of driving. I live in Abbey Wood and I was under the impression that Crossrail at Abbey Wood is meant to benefit people living in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead who work in the City and West End of London. I am also looking forward to a bus route that will allow travel to North Greenwich as have felt very cut off in this area compared to others. Also Thameslink service which started last year at Abbey Wood is brilliant as can go to Luton Airport by train and days out to St Albans and access to Eurostar at St Pancras. Also can travel by train to my brother who lives in Edgware (Mill Hill or Boreham Wood) instead of the nightmare M25 by car.

    • Once Crossrail opens the 472 is due to be extended to Abbey Wood Station from Thamesmead. In addition TfL are also looking at diverting the 180 to North Greenwich, so Abbey Wood may end up with 2 bus routes serving North Greenwich. It’s just a shame Crossrail has been delayed by so long. I work in Central London and was anticipating it being opened by now. I’m now switching to working from home full time as losing 2.5 hours of my day on commuting isn’t productive.

      • The 180 being rerouted makes zero sense, better to keep the route as it is


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